Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Tiger Woods is to return to therapy after he speaks publicly for the first time about his infidelity, according to a letter from PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem that was obtained by The Associated Press.
Finchem’s letter to the PGA Tour policy board and other officials explained why Woods chose today to make his first public comments, which are to be televised live by all the major networks.
Woods’ statement comes during the Match Play Championship, sponsored by Accenture, the first company to drop Woods as a pitchman.
“As we understand it, Tiger’s therapy called for a week’s break at this time during which he has spent a few days with his children and then will make his statement before returning,” Finchem said in a letter Thursday. “Accordingly, there was very little flexibility in the date for the announcement.”
Woods is to speak at 10 a.m. CST from the clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass, home of the PGA Tour.
The letter shed no light on whether Woods plans to return to the tour anytime soon.
Woods’ first public appearance in three months already is shaping up as a national event.
Tight security restricted access on the road that leads to the TPC Sawgrass clubhouse, where Woods is to speak for the first time since his Nov. 27 accident that set off sordid revelations of infidelity.
Networks reworked their programming and, by late Thursday afternoon, seven satellite trucks had already parked outside the Sawgrass Marriott. The parking lot last saw this kind of activity five years ago — for media day at the Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles.
Three networks — ABC, CBS and NBC — will carry the statement live. ESPN will have it live on all its platforms, including Internet streaming, radio and mobile. It also will be piped over YouTube, the Web’s most popular video channel. Golf Channel will start coverage at 9:30 a.m. — call it a 30-minute pregame show.
Top seeds fall in Match Play
Marana, Ariz. — The remaining top four seeds went down, and so did the defending champion. The often-unpredictable Match Play Championship more than lived up to its reputation in a topsy-turvy second round at Dove Mountain on Thursday.
Lee Westwood, Jim Furyk, Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy — seeded second through fifth entering the tournament — were among the day’s losers. Defending champion Geoff Ogilvy was beaten by Colombian Camilo Villegas, 2 and 1. Top-seeded Steve Stricker lost in Wednesday’s first round.
Knicks acquire McGrady
Houston — The New York Knicks have acquired disgruntled guard Tracy McGrady and his massive expiring contract in a three-team swap with the Houston Rockets and the Sacramento Kings, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The Knicks also will get Sergio Rodriguez from the Kings. The Rockets will get guard Kevin Martin and forward Hilton Armstrong from Sacramento and forward Jordan Hill, Jared Jeffries and draft considerations in 2011 and 2012 from New York. The Kings will get New York guard Larry Hughes and Houston forwards Carl Landry and Joey Dorsey.
Giddens sent to Knicks
Greenburgh, N.Y. — The New York Knicks traded Nate Robinson to Boston on Thursday along with Marcus Landry for J.R. Giddens, Eddie House, Bill Walker and a future conditional second-round pick. Giddens is a former Kansas University player, Walker a former Kansas State player.
Bobcats deal for Thomas
Charlotte, N.C. — The Charlotte Bobcats addressed coach Larry Brown’s biggest wish on Thursday, acquiring power forward Tyrus Thomas from the Chicago Bulls just before the trade deadline. Charlotte sent a future first-round pick to Chicago, along with the expiring contracts of guards Flip Murray and Acie Law.
Bucks trade for Salmons
Milwaukee — The Milwaukee Bucks acquired guard John Salmons from the Chicago Bulls before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline and sent the expiring contracts of forwards Hakim Warrick and Joe Alexander to the Bulls.
WOMEN’S PRO BASKETBALL
Ex-Jayhawk Dixon retires
Former Kansas University standout Tamecka Dixon has announced her retirement from pro basketball.
A three-time WNBA All-Star, the 5-foot-9 guard is leaving after 13 seasons. Prior to the 2009 season, she was one of only four remaining players from the league’s inaugural season in 1997.
A Kodak All-American and Big 12 Conference Player of the Year in ’97, Dixon helped Kansas to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances before being chosen 14th overall by the Los Angeles Sparks in the ’97 WNBA Draft.
Dixon, 34, is one of three former KU women players whose jersey hangs in the Allen Fieldhouse rafters. Lynette Woodard and Angela Aycock are the others.
Thompson named to list
Durham, N.C. — Kansas University junior third baseman Tony Thompson was named on Thursday to the Golden Spikes Award preseason Watch List by USA Baseball.
Vanderbilt signee killed
Powder Springs, Ga. — A high school football standout who had been signed to play at Vanderbilt University was shot to death Thursday by his mother’s ex-boyfriend, police said. Officers heard gunshots as they arrived at the home where Rajaan Bennett, 18, lived with his mother, Powder Springs Lt. Matt Boyd said. Inside they found Bennett, a running back at McEachern High School, dead of a gunshot wound.
Boyd said Clifton Steager, 39, of Milledgeville shot Bennett and then killed himself.